Instagram is an exceptionally well oiled visual machine. It has over 100 million photos and videos being uploaded per day. Furthermore, it has a plethora of features when it comes to sharing your Image content. However, with these bells and whistles, you may get bogged down with finding the ideal Instagram image size. I have laid down a Simple Guide To Instagram Image Sizes to help you with your content planning.
Instagram Image Size & Aspect Ratio
Before we begin this Simple Guide To Instagram Image Sizes, it’s important to understand sizes and aspect ratios as this will underpin this whole article.
Aspect ratio refers to the width of a picture in relation to its height. It’s usually written as two numbers separated by a colon, as in 16:9. The first digit represents the width and the second digit represents height. Now, remember this point as it will help going forward.
Image size determines an image’s actual width and height in pixels. Importantly the first digit represents the width and the second digit represents height. Instagram states that it will support photos and videos with a width of between 320px and 1080px. If you share a photo at a lower resolution, Instagram will enlarge it to 320px in width (if your photo or video is smaller than 320px.) Be aware that if you share a photo at higher resolution, the image will be sized down to a width of 1080px (if it’s wider than 1080px, Instagram will size it down to a width of 1080px.)
If the aspect ratio of your image isn’t supported, it will be automatically cropped, which may affect your image resolution.
It’s best to avoid letting Instagram meddling with your image, therefore, make sure you control what you upload. Personally, we still struggle with this. What we understand is that this happens when you upload a photo that is bigger than 1080px by 1080px. Instagram will automatically compress your image. Therefore ultimately yielding the fuzzy display scenario.
If you also upload an image smaller than 320px by 320px Instagram will automatically expand the image ultimately yielding a pixelated (iffy) image.
Now please remember these quick principles in this simple guide to Instagram image sizes when we further this discussion below.
Ideal Instagram Sizes
In a nutshell, this Simple Guide To Instagram Image Sizes will discuss.
- Square post
- Landscape post
- Portrait post
Instagram Video Feed
- Square video
- Portrait Video
- Landscape Video
- IGTV vertical
- IGTV Horizontal
- IGTV cover
#1 Instagram Image
Ideal square Instagram Profile Image size: 110px x 110px
Image aspect ratio: 1:1
Very important to get this one right. First impressions count. Your Instagram profile picture is such a small thing, but it is extremely important to get right. Try uploading a very high res image to make it stand out. There is nothing worse than a blurry image unless your verified and its actually what you want to create.
#2 Instagram Feed
Ideal square Instagram image size: 1080 x 1080px
Square Image aspect ratio: 1:1
We recommend that you load a 1080×1080 image so that you avoid fuzziness. Make sure your aspect ratio is 1:1 as well otherwise cropping may occur.
🚨NB NB I can’t stress this enough. Remember If you upload a photo that is bigger than 1080x1080px, Instagram will automatically compress your photo. which you do not want. It’s best to have full control over this. Likewise, if you also upload an image smaller than 320px by 320px Instagram will automatically expand the image, this again yields a bad quality image.
The square post image is the traditional image feature of Instagram. It’s basic to use and the fact Instagram has an auto-cropping functionality makes it the default and go-to position for the billions of Instagram users around the world. To further illustrate this point the fact that your iOS device or android device coupled with photo apps allow for the square image to be perfectly executed means that you have all the help regarding your square images.
Landscape posts (horizontal)
Instagram landscape image size: 1080 x 608 px
Instagram landscape image aspect ratio: 1.91:1 or 16:9.
🚨NB NB. This is important to note because we see a lot of this. If you use the Ideal Instagram landscape image size of 1080 x 608 px you will upload a horizontal photo without a border. This is what you want to aim for always in our opinion. If however, you do not follow the Ideal Instagram landscape image size and you upload a larger landscape photo. What you would get is a black border on the top and on the bottom of the image. Why? because Instagram would have automatically added that border as it is not the ideal dimensions per se.
Landscape images can be tricky because of the black border aspect. Your grid aesthetics can be thrown off immediately. Experts state that the engagement rates of landscape images are not as high as the portrait (vertical) or square images because of the fuller feel aspect. Think about it, when you’re scrolling at night the square image or portrait (vertical) image jumps out better, it feels better. Whilst with the landscape images it really depends if the person understands what they are doing. You have to know what you’re doing when it comes to landscape images that’s why we shy away from them.
Portrait post (vertical)
Instagram portrait image size: 1080 x 1350 px
Instagram portrait aspect ratio: 4:5
🚨NB NB. We have been victims of this. what we have learnt is that If you upload an Instagram portrait aspect ratio larger than 4:6, 4:7 or 9:16, you’ll have to crop a portion of the image. So when uploading a vertical video, just make sure it’s a 4:5 aspect ratio so that you are on the safe side.
Dash Hudson found that portrait images receive more engagement than the square and landscape images. Portrait images when implemented correctly and with thought are a great way to vary your grid. Shane Barker states that. Due to their size, portrait images are more eye-catching, and users are more likely to notice them, thus increasing your chances of getting engagement. This can play a crucial role in growing your Instagram account.
#3 Instagram Video Feed
Instagram Square video
Ideal Instagram square video feed size: 1080px x 1080px
Instagram square video feed aspect ratio: 1:1
Minimum video resolution: 600 x 600
Maximum video resolution: 1080 x 1080
The square video is mostly preferred because of its ability to fill up your screen. Marketers state that users engage with square video or vertical more on mobile and in a way it is more natural to view a square video or a vertical one.
Instagram Portrait video (vertical)
Ideal Instagram Portrait video feed size: 1080 x 1350
Ideal Instagram Portrait video feed aspect ratio: 4:5
Minimum video resolution: 600 x 750
Maximum video resolution: 1080 x 1350
🚨NB NB. If your Instagram vertical videos aspect ratio is more than 4:5, it may get cropped. Remember that portrait stretches a little more than the square video however it works wonders because of how you can capture your subject matter. Take note that, smartphone users hold their phones vertically most of the time therefore this video format may do wonders for you.
Instagram Landscape Videos (Horizontal)
Ideal Instagram Landscape video feed size: 1080 x 608
Ideal Instagram Landscape video feed aspect ratio: 16:9
Minimum video resolution: 600 x 315
Maximum video resolution: 1080 x 608
The landscape video is a tad bit tricky to pull off hence you do not see a lot of them on Instagram. It really depends on what your subject matter is with this format.
Notice that we have the resolution point in the video feed section. This is important because as we know the clearer the video the better. A tip we received by videographers is to always upload the Maximum Video Resolution possible because this results in a greater feel and quality.
Since we are on the topic of videos Dissolve states that Instagram video posts have a maximum of:
30 frames per second
60 seconds in length
File size of 4 GB
🚨NB If you Transgress these above dimensions you won’t be able to post your video.
You should always ask yourself “which video format should I use and when?”. With the rise of mobile usage, Vertical videos are the way to go. However, that doesn’t mean that you should not experiment with Horizontal videos.
#4 Instagram Story
Instagram Story size: 1080 x 1920 px
Instagram Story Aspect Ratio: 9:16
🚨NB NB. It is advisable to use the 1080 x 1920 px size. Why? Because it will cover the full screen and will look visually pleasing. Additionally, you will not give Instagram the power to cut off any part of your photo or video. You need to follow this recommended size. Can’t stress this enough. There is nothing more irritating than an Instagram Story that has been chopped off or cut off therefore just make sure you remain observant to this issue.
IGTV vertical video: 1080 x 1920 px
Minimum aspect ratio: 4:5 (1080px x 1350px)
Maximum aspect ratio: 9:16 (1080px x 1920px)
IGTV Minimum resolution: 720 pixels
IGTV Horizontal video: 1920 x 1080px
Minimum aspect ratio: 5:4 (1350px x 1080px)
Maximum aspect ratio: 16:9 (1920px x 1080px)
Instagram states that “Vertical videos work great for creators who want to be up-close and personal with their audience; but landscape also has its strengths, especially when it comes to formats like dance and sports which are high motion and often feature a handful of people in frame.” Another fact is that Vertical videos are easier for a mobile experience because you don’t have to rotate your phone but not ideal when you want to repurpose that video elsewhere. A vital point to make is that IGTV Videos Appear x4 Larger than Photos on the Explore Page.
IGTV is a platform for longer videos. With that being said the files are normally larger. What this means is that it’s often easier to edit from your computer. Be sure to check out our article on “How To Post To IGTV From Desktop?”
Ideal IGTV Cover Size: 420 x 654 px
Aspect ratio: 1:1:55
Remember that you can upload your own IGTV cover or allow Instagram to automatically select a random frame from your video. The IGTV cover is vertical.
🚨NB NB. Instagram doesn’t allow you to change your cover after you have uploaded your IGTV video. Hopefully, this gets changed soon because some of us are fickle. So for now we have to try and create the right IGTV cover image the first time.
IGTV Preview is cropped to a 4:5 aspect ratio in the user feed
Very important if you do decide to share your IGTV in your feed. Preview is an interesting take. IGTV Preview is a One-Minute Preview Option for IGTV. What it does is that it allows people to watch the first 1 minute of your IGTV in your feed, through a preview snippet. After the 1 minute is over, they will be prompted to continue watching your full IGTV video, within IGTV.
🚨NB NB. IGTV Preview is cropped to a 4:5 aspect ratio in the user feed. When this happens it would mean that your 1080×1920 resolution video got cropped at the top and bottom and becomes a 1080×1350 resolution video.
#6 Instagram Live
Instagram Live Aspect Ratio: 9:16
Instagram Live size: 1080 x 1920 px
These are simply shot vertically. Instagram does all the hard work for you when you use the Live Video function.
#7 Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels Aspect Ratio: 9:16
Instagram Reels size: 1080 x 1920 px
(show up as 4:5 in the feed as ‘portrait’ (1080 X 1350)
🚨NB NB. Remember that when displayed in the newsfeed as seen above, cropping will most likely occur. So what can you do? As a rule of thumb, aim to leave a little room around your borders and make sure that your main subject does not get severely cropped out.
Final Thoughts On The Simple Guide To Instagram Image Sizes
Instagram has a vast number of bells and whistles that you should make use of. Honestly, we as Heropost haven’t even started to effectively use all these great features to their max. The above formats illustrate the depth that is Instagram. Oh yes, don’t forget to also use photo editing apps to help you with your content. Our aim in this article was to shed some light about Instagram Image Sizes. We also struggled when it came to using the correct dimensions (as our pictures on Instagram came out fuzzy at times even though we uploaded a very clear image) and we thought this would be a great topic to write on. We hope you found this Simple Guide To Instagram Image Sizes helpful.